Background and aim: The aim of the present study was to assess health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and treatment satisfaction in a large, ambulatory based sample of patients with type 2 diabetes. In particular, we evaluated a large array of socio-economic, clinical, and management-related factors, to investigate the extent to which they correlate with physical and psychological well-being, and with treatment satisfaction.
Methods and results: Patients were requested to fill in a questionnaire including the SF-36 Health Survey (SF-36), the WHO-Well Being Questionnaire (WBQ), and the WHO-Diabetes Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire (DTSQ). The analyses were based on multivariate analyses, adjusted for patient clinical and socio-demographic characteristics. The study involved 2499 patients, enrolled in 203 diabetes outpatient clinics. Female gender and diabetes complications were associated with worse physical and psychological well-being, while socioeconomic variables were mainly related to general well-being. The perceived frequency of hyperglycemic episodes was negatively associated with all the dimensions explored. Treatment satisfaction was inversely related to female gender, insulin treatment, perceived frequency of hyperglycemic episodes and diabetes complications. Blood glucose self-monitoring, and among patients treated with insulin, self-management of insulin doses and the use of pen for insulin injections, were associated with higher levels of satisfaction. Finally, higher levels of satisfaction were associated with a better perception of physical and psychological well-being.
Conclusions: Health related quality of life and treatment satisfaction are associated with each other and are both affected by a complex interplay between clinical and socio-economic variables. Some negative aspects, mainly associated with insulin treatment and poor perceived metabolic control, can be attenuated by a deeper involvement of the patients in the management of the disease.